Non-Unified Home Rule Borough
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (yack' uh tat)
- Community's Judicial District
- Recording District
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Geography and Climate
- Yakutat is isolated among the lowlands along the Gulf of Alaska, 225 miles northwest of Juneau and 220 miles southeast of Cordova. It is at the mouth of Yakutat Bay, one of the few refuges for vessels along this stretch of coast. The Hubbard and Malaspina Glaciers are nearby. Its boundaries are the Canadian border to the north, Cape Suckling to the west, and Cape Fairweather to the east. Yakutat Borough is within and surrounded by the Tongass National Forests, Wrangell St-Elias National Park and Preserve, and Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.
- Yakutat has a maritime climate characterized by relatively mild, often rainy weather. Summer temperatures range from 42 to 60 °F and winter temperatures from 17 to 39 °F. Yakutat receives some of the heaviest precipitation in the state, averaging 132 inches of precipitation and 219 inches of snowfall each year.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- Yakutat has a diverse cultural history. The original settlers are believed to have been Eyak-speaking people from the Copper River area who were conquered by the Tlingits. Yakutat means "the place where the canoes rest." In the 18th and 19th centuries, English, French, Spanish, and Russian explorers came to the region. Fur traders were attracted to the region's sea otters. The Russian-American Company built a fort in Yakutat in 1805 to harvest sea otter pelts. Because the Russians would not allow local Tlingits access to their traditional fisheries, a Tlingit war party attacked and destroyed the post. In 1884 the Alaska Commercial Company opened a store in Yakutat. By 1886, the black sand beaches in the area were being mined for gold. In 1889 the Swedish Free Mission Church had opened a school and sawmill in the area. A cannery, sawmill, store, and railroad were constructed beginning in 1903 by the Stimson Lumber Company. Most residents moved to the current site of Yakutat to be closer to the cannery, which operated through 1970. During World War II, a large aviation garrison and paved runway were constructed. Troops were withdrawn after the war, but the runway is still in use. The City of Yakutat was formed in 1948, but in 1992 the city was dissolved and a borough was organized for the region.
- The area maintains a traditional Tlingit culture with influences from the original Eyak Athabascans, as well as Russian, English, and American traders and miners. Fishing and subsistence activities are prevalent.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Yakutat Tlingit Tribe
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Piped Water, Piped Sewer, Electric, Landfill, Police, Volunteer Fire/EMS, School, Harbor/Dock, Airport (State Contract), Fishery Enhancement, Roads, Parks & Recreation, Planning, Health Clinic, Oceanscape, Economic Development
- Yakutat has no road access. The airport has daily commercial jet service. There are also air taxis and float plane services to Yakutat. The state owns two jet-certified runways. The airport is located three miles southeast of town, and a seaplane base is available one mile northwest. The U.S. Forest Service owns five airstrips in the vicinity, and the National Park Service operates one at East Alsek River. The borough operates the state-owned boat harbor and the Ocean Cape Dock. The state ferry provides service to Yakutat. Monti Bay is the only sheltered deep water port in the Gulf of Alaska. Barges deliver goods monthly during the winter and more frequently in summer.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection
- Community's Senate District
- Community's House District